Sunday – January 29, 2023
Word On Worship – Sunday – January 29, 2023
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
This verse is the climax of all that John has been leading up to in his prologue. Up to this point, we have been told that “the Word” is a person who is eternal, who is in fact a member of the Godhead. He was there at creation; indeed, He was the Creator. He is distinct from, yet intimately in fellowship with, God the Father. He is the source of light and life. He is the One to whom John the Baptist bore witness, foretelling His appearance. He is the One whom His own people rejected, but those who receive Him become children of God. Those who do become God’s children do so not out of human volition or effort; they are divinely “conceived.”
Until now, the One John has been introducing to us has been identified only as “the Word.” This “Word” is also the “Light” which shines upon men. Illumination can occur from a great distance, as the light of the sun shines on us from afar. But John is now about to tell us an astounding fact: the “Word” became flesh and lived among men. Here is something absolutely unique to human history. In the pagan religions, the “gods” have come down to the earth in some form, but never was there an incarnation like that of our Lord.
It’s safe to say that every major cult and heresy has deviated from the biblical revelation of who Jesus Christ really is. They have erred either with regard to His deity or His humanity or the relationship between His two natures. It is as damning to believe in the wrong Jesus as to believe in no Jesus. John could have said, “The Word became man,” or, “The Word took on a human body.” But the word “flesh” jars you with its bluntness. In one short, shattering expression John unveils the great idea at the heart of Christianity that the very Word of God took flesh for man’s salvation.
The supreme mystery with which the gospel confronts us does not lie in the Easter message of resurrection, but in the Christmas message of incarnation. The staggering Christian claim is that Jesus of Nazareth was God made man—that the second person of the Godhead took humanity without loss of deity, so that Jesus of Nazareth was as truly and fully divine as He was human. God became man; the divine Son became a Jew; the Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, unable to do more than wriggle and make noises, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. And there was no illusion or deception in this: the babyhood of the Son of God was a reality. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as is this truth of the incarnation.